What is the full form of BEO

Professional and honor rules

of interpreters and translators for

- German Sign Language
- German written language
- Foreign sign languages
- International signs

of the Federal Association of Sign Language Interpreters in Germany (BGSD)


Deaf people¹ form a cultural and linguistic minority in Germany. You have the right to full and equal participation in all areas of society. Interpreters and translators (D / Ü) ² who commit themselves to these professional and honorary rules recognize this right and are committed to its implementation within the framework of their work. In doing so, they respect the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the General Equal Treatment Act.
D / Ü are aware of their responsibility and the need for flexible, self-responsible and reflective design of their professional activities.

Objectives of the professional and honor regulations are

- to ensure the quality of the professional activity of D / Ü;
- to promote the ethically correct behavior of D / Ü;
- to maintain and improve the reputation of the profession.

It formulates guidelines, values ​​and standards for ethical decisions, which the D / Ü accept as a self-binding professional ethos.

The target group of the professional and honor regulations are hearing and deaf D / Ü for German sign language, German written language, foreign sign languages, international signs. The validity is to be extended to prospective G / Ü in training as well as interns.

D / Ü always strive for a high level of integrity¹ in their work.
The professional behavior of D / Ü is guided by the following values ​​on which these professional and honor regulations are based:

1. Professionalism
2. Equal treatment and respect
3. impartiality
4. Confidentiality
5. Competence and qualification
6. Collegiality
7. Impeccable order processing
8. Protection of the profession

1. Professionalism

D / Ü work professionally.
They are competent, knowledgeable and qualified. You make decisions in professional contexts conscientiously and take responsibility for them. D / Ü are able to reflect on their decisions and their professional actions. They behave appropriately to the specific interpreting situation in each case.

Notes for practice: The diversity of the interpreting situations requires a high degree of flexibility and reflection on the part of the D / Ü. In school, counseling or therapeutic contexts in particular, it is important to be aware of your own role design as D / Ü, which is appropriate for the respective situation, and not to be aware of other roles and functions such as those of the co-therapist or the co-teacher Adopt co-teacher.

D / Ü strive for a faithful and conscientious interpretation / translation.

Notes for practice: This is appropriate if it reproduces the content and the intention to communicate as clearly as possible, is adapted to the target language, target person, target culture and operational situation and takes into account the form and the stylistic characteristics of the sender. A full interpretation / translation should not be confused with a literal translation.

D / Ü carry out their work to the best of their knowledge and belief. You must not knowingly misinterpret or translate. They correct errors that they become aware of or make them transparent in an appropriate manner.

Notes for practice: Depending on the situation, it may be possible to correct errors or it may be necessary to make them transparent to all or only those involved in the case. It is important that mistakes in the D / Ü do not result in any disadvantages for anyone.

D / Ü do not manipulate work situations for personal gain or gain. They must not benefit from confidential information obtained in connection with their work.

Notes for practice: D / Ü force or urge customers or placement agencies not to use their services. A manipulation for your own benefit would be, for example, deliberately extending an appointment or directing the conversation in order to gain your own information. Confidential information that the D / Ü could use for its own benefit is, for example, information regarding lucrative banking transactions or sales offers that the D / Ü would like to use itself. If this information is publicly available, there is no problem. Also, do not advertise any services outside of the range of activities and tasks of D / Ü, such as offered sideline jobs or service offers from friends and relatives.

2. Equal treatment and respect

D / Ü treat all persons involved in their professional activity with dignity and respect.
D / Ü do not discriminate against anyone. They respect the individuality, the right to self-determination, the culture and the autonomy of everyone involved with whom they work.

Notes for practice: D / Ü do not discriminate against anyone on the basis of origin, language, skin color, ethnicity, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, personal convictions, activities and habits, social status or other aspects.

3. impartiality

D / Ü are impartial.
They strive to understand and convey the statements, concerns and expectations of all parties involved without influencing them. This requires inner flexibility, empathy and the ability to put your own concerns aside.

Notes for practice: The aim is to convey the messages and the content with a view to the speaker's intention and to adapt the language to the needs of the recipient of the message. D / Ü put their own concerns aside and refrain from changing messages and expressions based on subjective considerations and convictions.

D / Ü are required to clear up misunderstandings and wrong cultural conclusions.

Notes for practice: In some settings it may be appropriate to provide information about the effectiveness of communication, cultural aspects or the interpretation process itself, to point out possibilities relating to the communication situation and to make recommendations in this regard. The D / Ü concentrate their statements and statements on the subject area of ​​interpreting and related topics such as linguistic and cultural information.

4. Confidentiality

D / Ü are concealed.
D / Ü protect content-related information from their operations and the data of all persons involved.

Practical notes: This applies to all forms of data handling, both digital and paper. Data protection measures include, for example, the destruction of confidential documents, storage in a lockable cabinet and the use and storage of electronic data, taking data security into account. D / Ü do not pass on the material made available for their work to third parties and only use it for the purposes for which it was entrusted to them (e.g. for preparation).

This also applies after the end of a mission and to people who are already aware of the information in question.

Notes for practice: If a person is already aware of an issue, but was not present during the D / Ü, the D / Ü still does not pass on any information regarding the already known facts to this person or talk to them about it this. This does not apply if the data subjects or their legal representatives expressly consent to this. The term “data subject” refers to the owner of the confidential data: For example, in the medical context, the patient or doctor, in the operational context, the employee or the company or management.

Confidentiality can be dispensed with by law, principles of jurisprudence and the consent of the data subjects or their legal representatives.

Notes for practice: D / Ü, for example, have no right to refuse to testify in court. The confidentiality can thus be lifted by a court - the D / Ü must testify there.

Confidentiality can be restricted, in particular with the consent of those affected or their legal representatives, for the following purposes: training and further education, supervision, collegial advice, information from other D / Ü involved in the operation. All persons who receive information are subject to the obligation of secrecy in full.

Notes for practice: Data and information as well as persons should be protected as far as possible. The principle here applies: as much as necessary, as little and as anonymously as possible. The information is only passed on in a targeted manner: to optimize the quality of interpreting and translation, to further develop professional skills, to improve (self-) reflection, to reduce physical and psychological stress, etc.

5. Competence and qualification

D / Ü are competent and qualified.
D / Ü have skills and abilities in their working languages, necessary specialist knowledge, socio-cultural knowledge and translational skills. You have a professional qualification as D / Ü. They take current theoretical and practical knowledge into account in their work and take part in further training courses. D / Ü are characterized by the ability to (self-) reflection.

Notes for practice: Opportunities for further training to continuously expand knowledge and skills and to improve interpreting skills include, for example, events in the deaf community, specialist literature, further and advanced training offers, lectures and conferences as well as supervision or mentoring. Many state associations for sign language interpreters already offer further training and further education and have introduced a further training obligation for their members.

6. Collegiality

D / Ü behave respectfully, in solidarity and cooperatively when dealing with colleagues, students and interns.
You show tactful reluctance to assess the performance and behavior of colleagues. Criticism of a faulty job or of supposedly inappropriate behavior should be presented without sharpness, constructively and initially to the person concerned.
If D / Ü employ freelance or salaried colleagues as employees, this should be done in accordance with the principles of these professional and honorary regulations.

D / Ü refrain from any form of unfair competition and all measures that are suitable to force colleagues * out of an order.

Comments for practice: Examples of unfair competition and the measures mentioned are the planned and targeted undercutting of the usual fee rates; artificial driving up of fees; Comparative advertising or a negative assessment of colleagues expressed to third parties. D / Ü, who in exceptional cases provide their services in the form of barter or pro bono, must not damage the profession or endanger the professional existence of colleagues. They are aware that their professional practice, whether pro bono or remunerated, has an impact on their integrity and that of the professional group.

7. Impeccable order processing

D / Ü always strive for an impeccable order processing.
Before starting the activity, you make clear agreements on the content and type of the contract, as well as on the performance and consideration. Your demeanor is appropriate, you strive for reliability in correspondence.

Notes for practice: This includes punctuality, respectful treatment of all those involved and the preparation of correct offers and invoices. The clothing should also be appropriate to the situation and not unnecessarily put the D / Ü in the focus of those involved.

D / Ü only accept orders if they assume that

  • they have appropriate qualifications and the necessary factual and linguistic knowledge in all working languages ​​or can obtain them as part of the preparation.
  • they can behave in accordance with these professional and honorary rules in the course of their work
  • the order leaves them mentally and physically unscathed.

Notes for practice: Information on the content, type and duration of the assignment as well as preparation for the assignment, working in a team with two or more G / E (if necessary), maintaining impartiality, and appropriate breaks protect against psychological and physical damage within the mission and overall good working conditions.

D / Ü reject assignments that exceed their abilities and skills or that bring them into an actual or perceived conflict of interest.
If there is a conflict of interest or another valid reason for withdrawing from an order or if an order has to be canceled after the order has been accepted, D / Ü will make the reasons transparent and work out a solution in accordance with contract law with the relevant parties involved.

Notes for practice: Conflicts of interest can arise, for example, from strong, personal, content-related or emotional concern or excessive one-sided bias. Then a faithful and conscientious interpretation / translation and an impartial attitude is no longer possible. Good reasons for resigning or canceling the job are, for example: Illness, death or emergency in the family, seriously changed job conditions, excessive unpredictable psychological or physical stresses caused by the job, etc.

8. Protection of the profession

D / Ü preserve and cultivate the reputation of their profession.
They perform regardless of pressure or outside influence. Instructions from the client cannot justify a violation of the professional and honorary rules.

Notes for practice: This means that D / Ü behave in all matters relating to the interpreting situation in such a way that the reputation of the profession is not endangered. For example, they maintain confidentiality despite requests from third parties.

D / Ü promote young professionals within the scope of their professional and personal possibilities.

Notes for practice: This can be done, for example, in the form of internships or interpreting internships, by supporting young or new colleagues or, for example, by teaching. Interns should be taken to assignments after consultation with all or those involved in this context.

D / Ü are responsible for discussing and resolving violations of professional and honorary rules or unprofessional behavior or the resulting circumstances in a professional manner.

Notes for practice: It is best to do this first, in a direct and factual exchange with the persons concerned. If the clarification does not succeed without support, D / Ü can call in external support in the form of mediation, supervision, advice, etc.

They take responsibility for the quality of their work and refrain from making false or inaccurate statements about their professional skills, training, experience or qualifications.

The regulations of these professional and honorary regulations also apply to employed D / Ü, unless otherwise stated in the employment contract and the employer's authority to issue instructions under labor law.


Come into effect
These professional and honorary regulations for the above-mentioned D / Ü were adopted on 11.11.2018 by the Federal Assembly of the Federal Association of Sign Language Interpreters in Germany. It replaces the previous professional and honorary regulations for sign language interpreters and translators from December 8th, 1995. It was developed in cooperation with the relevant associations such as the German Deaf Association and institutions of the profession in Germany and is to be revised at regular intervals.


Definitions of terms

Deaf people / deaf community: "Deaf people are (...) [people] who prefer to communicate in sign language and feel that they belong to the sign language community and its rich culture." (Deutscher Gehörlosen-Bund e.V.). What is meant here are deaf / deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people.

Integrity is meant here as morally impeccable, honorable and righteous behavior in the sense of society. At the same time it means the correspondence of the personal value system and personal ideals with one's own speech and actions. The integrity and dignity of fellow human beings is respected and, if possible, not violated.

Professional is i.a.equates with "professional, competent, knowledgeable, qualified" (Duden, 2017). Professionalism doesn't mean getting perfect results. Rather, professionalism means being able to select a strategy for an action in a targeted manner and to be able to justify this choice, to reflect on this decision and to use the result of the reflection to revise and expand the existing knowledge. (S. Kögel, 2003, "Consideration of the professional behavior of sign language interpreters against the background of the social function of professions and professionalization processes")